Sand, surf, and sun, what could be better? How about adding an adorable baby to the mix! Vacationing with your baby is always going to be a wild ride, but being prepared for new experiences will keep you relaxed enough to enjoy the trip! If you are heading out on a beach vacation, or you just happen to live near the ocean, a baby beach tent is a must-have.
What is a baby beach tent?
Good question! Although it may sound complicated, a baby beach tent is simply a shelter from the sun, wind, and sand, sized perfectly for your little one. It’s a must-have for safe summer fun.
There are many options available today, but my top choice is the MonoBeach Baby Beach Tent Pop Up Portable Shade Pool UV Protection Sun Shelter for Infant.
If you are looking for the best baby beach tent, read on to find how I picked the greatest tent available.
|The Best Baby Beach Tents||Why It's Best||Mom Rating|
|Monobeach Baby Beach Tent||Affordable, puddle area for water play, detachable top||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Intex Lazy Fish Inflatable Baby Pool||Inflatable pool and tent combo||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Summery Portable Beach Play Tent||Highly portable, keeps mosquitoes out||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Rusee Pop Up Tent||Large enough for multiple kids, not just for beaches||♥♥♥♥♥|
The Best Baby Beach Tents: My Top Picks
MonoBeach Baby Beach Tent
After searching far and wide for a baby beach tent that would accommodate my child for the first few years, I decided that the MonoBeach Baby Beach Tent was the best in the business. Why? Simply put, this tent is affordable, long lasting, and gets the job done. The whole point of a baby teach tent is to keep your child safe near the ocean or lake. This item is an outstanding product that is also easy to use and fun.
It’s Super Affordable.
If you are going on vacation soon, you probably don’t want to spend a small fortune on items before you even leave the house. This option is super affordable, and is often on sale for half price. Save your pennies for the actual beach trip by buying the best baby beach tent instead of a more expensive counterpart.
Unique Puddle Feature.
This tent has one majorly fun feature that most other tents just don’t offer: a puddle feature! A puddle feature is a small, circular dip in the bottom of the tent floor. You can fill it with water or sand for your infant to safely play in. This way, your baby can enjoy the beach without the hassle and fear of big ocean waves. Simple, dig a small hole, place the tent over the hole, and fill it up. If you don’t want to use the puddle feature, just leave it flat, and it works just like any other flat-bottomed beach tent.
Offers various configurations.
Since baby beach tents are meant to protect little guys from blowing wind, sand, and sun, the sides are high and wide to offer the most protection. Don’t forget, shelter and shade are two of the best ways to offer sun protection for baby!
But what about overcast mornings, or when your child just wants to be able to look around? The top half of this tent easily un-clamps and detaches, leaving you with just the floor. That way, your baby can sit on a smooth and comfortable surface, and even enjoy the puddle feature, without the obstruction of the top and sides. I also think this makes a great play area for other surfaces! You can use just the bottom part in the grass or dirt at the park, using the puddle feature to store toys or a blanket.
SPF 50+ Protection.
One of my biggest concerns when at the beach is sun exposure. In general, there is no shade near the water, you have to bring it all in. And younger babies can’t even wear sunscreen until they are six months old! That’s why having an SPF of 50+ is super important to me, and this baby beach tent delivers. I don’t have to worry about keeping my kids covered in clothes and the best floppy sun hats when they are tucked inside this tent, playing the day away. Also, you won’t have to stop for breaks every half hour to reapply sunscreen, which is never a fun way to spend your time on the shore.
Comes with accessories.
The mono includes all the accessories that you might need, so you don’t have to purchase a separate travel bag or items to tie it down. I really don’t like when I have to buy multiple accessories just to use an item, so having it all included is a big part of why this is the best beach tent you can buy. This tent comes with a carrying case and the 4 pegs you will need to keep it securely in the sand. You don’t have to buy anything else to make it work!
It might be challenging to take down.
Even though I love this pop-up baby beach tent, no product is perfect, right? This tent can be a little hard to re-fold after it has been open all day. You will first have to scoop or pour the sand and water out of the puddle feature, and they reconfigure the sides until they pop into place. Then you have to zip it into the bag so it doesn’t pop open on your walk back to the house or car. Overall, not a huge dilemma, but something to mention. There are a few good youtube videos you can watch to see tips on how to close it all up more efficiently.
It could be hard to handle alone.
Another minor annoyance is that to use the inside puddle feature, you will have to first dig a hole in the sand, and then place the tent precisely over it. Then tie the whole thing down. Then fill it with sand or water. It can take about ten minutes to get the whole thing set up. If you don’t have another adult with you, who is going to watch and hold the baby while you get all that done? I’m sure with practice it might not take as long to set up, but this is still a possible drawback if you are flying solo at the beach.
Watch: How to Setup the Baby Beach Tent
Watch: How to Take Down the Baby Beach Tent
Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent
This open and lightweight beach tent is ideal for not only baby, but the whole family, too. The Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent is spacious enough for a parent to sit in and play with baby while they relax in the shade. This best-seller has a 1-year warranty and will be a family favorite for you and baby.
It measures 86 by 49 inches, so it’s got lots of space for baby to crawl and spread out toys in. It’s roughly 4 feet tall, so you could sit in it with a beach chair (the low-to-the-ground ones) and be totally comfortable. For baby, you could set up a portable high chair or baby lounger in there with ample room. The material is an SPF 50 breathable polyester. It’s also waterproof. The frame poles are fiberglass and the bottom is a durable PE material that can hold up to sand scratching. There are storage pockets on the inside to hold your drinks and snacks off the ground. There’s also breathable mesh windows. Carrying case, sandbags, and anchoring stakes are all included.
This material is prone to rips and if you aren’t careful, you might even have a hole before you use it for the first time. This product doesn’t have great longevity. Spend the money to enjoy this for a wonderful summer season or two and then be prepared to replace it.
JOYIN Whale Baby Shade Beach Ten
The JOYIN Whale Baby shade beach tent is one of the most affordable choices available, and it is cute to boot! It’s a blow up, lightweight beach tent, so you will have to inflate it while on the beach. It offers top and side protection, with an open front. You can fill the bottom with sand or water, and when you aren’t at the beach, this is also an adorable kiddie pool.
This multi-use pool is small and perfect for travel. You can use it as a baby beach tent, a kiddie pool, or a ball pit. For about the same cost as a couple of fancy coffees, you can’t beat this value.
This pool and shade is vinyl, so it isn’t a good choice for sleeping. You will have to inflate this once you get to the beach, so bring a small pump or get ready to practice some deep breathing! There is also no way to anchor this to the sand, so you have to put something heavy at the bottom at all times to make sure it doesn’t drift away in the wind.
Sunba Youth Baby Tent
If you are going to be traveling by plane, or you just want a compact option, you need to look for something smaller. The Sunba Youth Baby Tent is probably going to work in your favor. It can even be used as a bed in a hotel room! I also think this tent would be perfect for a camping trip, since it completely zips shut as protection from bugs and other creepy crawlies.
This is one of the top beach tents for kids because it doubles as a bed! Your kid can sleep on the beach, at the park, at a campsite, or even in a crib-less hotel room. It has a quick fold, so you can pop it up and open in less than 3 seconds. The non-toxic material has UPF 50+ to protect your baby on even the sunniest day.
Even though this is large for a sleeper beach tent, it is small for an actual play tent. This is best for younger babies who aren’t crawling yet. Also, there is no padding or anything. You will have to put a baby lounger or a folded up towel or something in there for a little baby to lay on so they aren’t on the thin material and ground.
WolfWise UPF 50+ Easy Pop Up Beach Tent
If you have a pack of kids that will be spending time at the beach together, you likely need a larger, family-size beach tent to accommodate them. The WolfWise UPF 50+ Easy Pop Up Beach Tent is a great tent choice for more than one child. The extra-long floor makes a wonderful play area for up to four kids and an adult.
This tent pops open with one hand, so you can easily set it up even if you have a few kids running circles around you! It also easily folds back into its carrying bag when you are ready to go. The extra-tall tent can fit 3 to 4 people, and it provides shade for the roll-out flooring that extends out of the covering for a larger play area. There are two pockets for storage, a hook at the top for a light or fan, and it is rated for SPF 50+. It’s the perfect place to gather after playing some fun beach games.
Although this is one of the best baby beach tents on the market, there are a few drawbacks. This tent is made of a thinner material to keep costs down, but it might not be as durable as most other tents. Also, you have to put stakes and sandbags into the sand to keep it down, which can be a hassle.
Coleman Beach Shade Shelter
Where baby goes, you go, right? The Coleman Beach Shade Shelter is a baby beach tent with a more open design so that you can sit in the shade with baby. It comes from the trusted Coleman brand, which has supported many families on tent camping adventures.
This tent is 4’9″ tall at the center, so you and everyone in your family will be able to sit comfortably underneath the shade. It has more fun features, like integrated storage pockets and even a laundry line so that you can hang up baby’s swimsuit to dry once they are ready to take a rest. The back window has ventilation and the front floor can either be extended out to give more space or zipped up to give more privacy. This tent will take you a few minutes to set up and comes with ground stake and guy lines.
This isn’t a pop-up tent, so it does take some time and effort to set up. You’ll be setting up poles and everything. And while tent stakes work for camping, they don’t do so hot in the sand, so you’ll have to use sandbags or rocks or something else to keep this tent up.
Shylling UV Play Shade
If you want a versatile and perfect-sized baby tent, then the Shylling UV Play Shade is for you. This baby tent is a simple pop-up tent that’s just the right size for your baby or toddler (and maybe even a friend or sibling) to play in away from the sun.
There’s not a bunch of bells and whistles on this tent. It’s a simple pop-up tent with stakes that has waterproof UPF 50 fabric to protect your baby’s sensitive skin from the sun. It folds down quickly and easily and goes right into the travel bag for easy use. It has a ventilation widow on the back and tie-back flaps on the front.
Folding this back up is like folding up those pop-open sun shades for your car. Some days it works fine, and other days, this tent is going to get the better of you. Also, the small anchors don’t work very well in the sand at all.
Pacific Play Tents Lil Nursery Tent
The Pacific Play Tents Lil Nursery Tent is a perfectly square tent with some perfectly lovely features. This well-known beach tent brand has this solid and mesh product that’s ideal for babies. It is a great combination of sturdy and light.
This tent measures in at 36 x 36 x 36 inches, so it’s a perfect little cube. The material is a 190T polyester taffeta and mesh. The front wall and half of each sidewall is made of mesh to get a nice breeze blowing through the tent to prevent overheating. The mesh door rolls up and velcros into place. This tent features real tent poles and pegs, but still breaks down easily and fits in the included carrying bag.
This tent is only SPF 30, which is less than some of the other options on this list. You will have to set up this tent – it just doesn’t pop up, which is a downside for many parents in a hurry. And finally, this option doesn’t have a roll-out floor to provide extra space.
General Criteria for Beach Tents
When I was trying to pick my favorite of the best baby beach tents available, I generally tried to follow this criteria.
- Easy to use.
- Brightly Colored.
- Multiple Uses.
I wanted my beach tent to be bright so it would stand out in a crowd. It can get confusing when the waterfront is covered with umbrellas and towels. I also wanted to make sure it was budget friendly and easy to use. No product is worth the cost if you can’t actually make it work when you need it! Finally, I wanted the beach tent to be compact and portable, but to also have multiple uses. All of these tents can also be set up at a park, a playdate, or even at home.
Don’t forget an infant life jacket for going into the water!
FAQ for Baby Beach Tents
Can I take my newborn to the beach?
Yes, but there are some extra precautions that have to be taken. Brand-new babies have lower immune systems and sensitive skin. So while a trip to the beach is a-okay, you may want to skip a swim until baby is a little older. Also, make sure that you have a sun shelter or beach tent of some kind to protect from sunburns and to give baby a safe place to lay and nap. In addition, make sure baby is wearing UV-blocking clothing and a hat.
Are pop-up or pole tents better for the beach?
This is entirely depends on where you are going and for how long. Things you should consider while you shop include the regulations for the beach where you are going, the average wind level of that beach, how much room you have to pack the beach tent, and how much time you’ll have to set up your beach spot.
Remember that pop-up tents are usually smaller and lighter and quick to set up, but they often don’t hold up as well to wind or rain and they are prone to falling over. Regular tents with poles are much more sturdy and oftentimes larger, but they take some know-how and time to set up. They may require extra accessories, like stakes or sandbags. Also, the carrying bag for these kinds of tents are often much bigger.
How much should I spend on a sun shelter for the beach?
If you are buying a baby beach tent, I would not invest tons of money into it. Babies grow rapidly and it may only work for your family for a couple of years before baby outgrows it or it becomes unusable. A budget of around $50 should get you an option that will have high quality and great features.
If you are wiling to spend a little more, a budget of closer to $70-$80 will get you a full-sized beach tent that the whole family can use. For just a few more dollars, your investment will be bigger and better and longer-lasting.
How long do baby beach tents last?
Beach tents and sun shelters face the toughest conditions: blazing sun, blasting winds, gritty sands, pokey rocks, and of course, excited children. Even if you take very good care of your beach tent, it may not last longer than about 5 years. For some of the cheaper and thinner options, they may only work for a summer season or two before they get a rip or get bent out of shape or become otherwise unusable.
My Overall Recommendation
At the end of the day, I have to recommend the MonoBeach Baby as the best baby beach tent on the market today. From its budget-friendly price to its unique puddle feature, you really can’t go wrong with this top choice!